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Drug Traffickers Polluting Amazon Rivers Says Peru Drug Czar

file photo
by Staff Writers
Lima, Peru (AFP) Feb 23, 2006
Drug-trafficking gangs are polluting the Amazon's rivers with kerosene, sulfuric acid and other harmful chemicals and products used to produce illegal drugs, Peru drug czar Nils Ericsson said. Ericsson, in remarks broadcast Thursday by the Andina news agency, said pollution from illegal drug production is killing plants and animals in the Amazon rainforest and has even caused sickness among local people.

The chemical run off produces a "terrible degradation killing thousands of plants and there are less fish in the waters," Ericsson, head of the state Development and Life without Drugs (Devida) program, said.

Illegal drug traffickers, who often hide their production camps deep in the Amazon jungle, sometimes dump chemicals on the ground, but they can still run off into the region's rivers, he noted.

He also lambasted illegal loggers who have also been charged with environmental damage.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Wildlife Researchers Identify Impacts Of Contamination In Amphibians
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Bill Hopkins, fisheries and wildlife associate professor in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, and colleagues doing research at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and in the field, have demonstrated that amphibians are exposed to contaminants through maternal transfer, as has been proven for other vertebrates.

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